Parents expressed shock and disbelief upon learning that a bomb threat called into R.D. White Elementary School Monday morning had prompted an evacuation of students to a nearby Whole Foods.
By 11 a.m. -- as police officials continued to search the campus -- the majority of the nearly 900 students had been picked up by their parents at the Whole Foods parking lot on Glendale Avenue.
With the images of police responding to last month’s shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school --where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults – seared into the nation’s consciousness, parents of the R.D. White students said the evacuation was especially rattling.
Stephanie Corona was grocery shopping in Burbank when she got the call about the evacuation. She immediately rushed over to pick up her third-grade son.
“It never crosses your mind that we might be next,” she said.
Glendale Unified officials said an anonymous call about a possible bomb on campus was received at 8:29 a.m., prompting the evacuation to the nearby Whole Foods, where store employees reportedly handed out oranges and water to the students.
By midday, police officials cleared the campus after an exhaustive search of the campus had failed to find anything, and an investigation into the phone remained ongoing.
Still, the scene was unnerving for many parents, who said they were relieved to see that the evacuation plan had been clearly been practiced and excuted well.
“I was absolutely shocked,” said Ken Washington, who drove over to pick his second-grade daughter after getting the call while in a meeting at work. “I was surprised to see the phone call on my phone."
-- Jason Wells and Kelly Corrigan, Times Community News
Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan